Stopping by a dhaba and relishing mouth-watering butter chicken, aloo paratha, makke di roti and malai lassi is probably one of the best parts of any road journey in India. These roadside eateries, called dhabas in India, don’t have fancy furniture or modern décor but one simply does not question the authenticity and taste of food served at these tiny places.
The mighty national highways connecting the cities with one another are dotted with some outstanding dhabas that have gained much popularity over the time to become a prime tourist attraction of the destination. Dhabas that were initially built on the concept of serving the long-time-away-from-home truck drivers have now become a much bigger entity. Some of these Indian dhabas serve food on traditional charpais (cots), while meals are prepared mostly in earthen utensils, which only adds to the flavour.
If you are travelling on any of these prominent highways of India, do not forget to stop your vehicle and savour a meal at one of these spectacular dhabas!
Mr Sanjay Dhaba
Sanjay Dhaba on the Srinagar-Leh Highway serves some amazing black tea and aloo parathas to hungry bikers and travellers. The interiors are extremely basic, but the food is inexplicable delicious and more than just makes for it. Stop here and enjoy a filling meal before embarking on your journey further inside the Himalayas.
Must-haves: Aloo paratha, aloo sabzi, black tea
Location: Srinagar-Leh Highway, NH 1D
If you have a thing for Rajasthani cuisine, the Sharma Dhaba on Jaipur-Sikar road is where you must take a break and indulge in some authentic dishes of Rajasthan. Here, you get pure vegetarian food, with mawa naan as a speciality that nobody can resist.
Must-haves: Missi roti, mawa naan (mawa roti), paneer masala, malai matar
Location: Jaipur-Sikar Road
Giani Da Dhaba
This is a prominent stopover for foodies travelling to Shimla via NH 22 on the Kalka-Shimla Road. The place remains packed most of the time, and you’ll be really impressed with the rustic charm of this little eatery. Probably one of the oldest in the region, this dhaba-cum-restaurant has some serious fan following!
Must-haves: Tandoori roti, tandoori parantha and tea
Location: Kalka-Shimla Road, NH 22 Himachal Pradesh
This one is more of a restaurant, but being on a national highway and serving homely food, people love it here and call it a dhaba. The owner of the place, Mr. Rana, believes that this place is successful because of the personal touch. You can choose to dine inside; or, if weather is pleasant eat in the open area. Food here is absolutely delicious, and you must try dal, gobi, paneer and a variety of parathas.
Must-haves: Parathas, paneer ki sabzi, dosa, idli, paneer pakodas
Location: Delhi-Dehradun Highway, near Khatauli
If you are travelling to Jaipur from Delhi via NH 8, make sure to stop at the old Rao Dhaba. Well, it’s really hard to miss this place for you’ll notice a fleet of vehicles parked just outside. The eatery has simple set up but the food is absolutely finger-licious! They have an extensive menu for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Must haves: Stuffed naan, daal makhani, channa masala
Location: Delhi-Jaipur Highway, NH 8, Dharuhera
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